[Windows] Recover deleted and lost files with Tenorshare Data Recovery

2013-07-17_105127Data/file recovery is one of those capabilities everyone wants to keep in their toolbox incase the worst happens. To help with that worst case scenario, here on dotTech we have a review of the best free file and data recovery software for Windows. However, if you are not happy with what we listed in our review, Tenorshare Data Recovery is another option you can try. Let’s see if it is worth your time.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Tenorshare Data Recovery is, as the name implies, a data/file recovery program for Windows. With this program, you can recover deleted and lost files — including those files that existed prior to a reformat or crash.

Take note Tenorshare Data Recovery comes in four different versions — Standard, Professional, Enterprise, and WinPE; this review specifically looked at Tenorshare Data Recovery Standard. The following chart explains the differences between the four versions:



  • Allows recovery of deleted and lost files, including those files lost after a reformat or crash
  • Has three methods of file recovery: ‘Deleted Recovery’, ‘Format Recovery’, and ‘RAW Recovery’
  • Includes the ability to recover lost partitions via ‘Partition Recovery’
  • Works on internal drives, external drives, USB flash drives, camera memory cards, etc.
  • Is able to preview found photo and audio files before recovery
  • Can batch restore files, meaning you can restore more than one file at a time
  • Fairly easy to use
  • Relatively quick


  • Standard version works only on drives/partitions of FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS file system; for HFS/HFS+ and EXT2/3 support you need Professional, Enterprise, or WinPE versions
    • NOTE: This is a non-issue for most people because most people only have Windows on their computer and Windows uses NTFS, which all the versions support. However, if you dual-boot with Mac OS X or Linux, then take note Standard version will not be able to recover files/partitions on non-Windows drives/partitions
  • Standard, Professional, and WinPE versions do not work on RAID0 and RAID5 drives; for RAID0 and RAID5 support you need Enterprise version
    • UPDATE: This bullet point originally stated WinPE supported RAID0/RAID5 based on information provided by a chart available on the developer’s website. However, the developer has just contacted me to inform me that their chart was wrong and that WinPE does not, in fact, support RAID0/RAID5.
  • Standard, Professional, and Enterprise versions work from inside Windows only; if you want to be able to recovery files/data/partitions from outside Windows (i.e. with a bootable/recovery CD), you need the WinPE version
  • Not 100% bug-free — crashed on me while trying to use ‘Format Recovery’
  • Does not support preview of all file types
  • Is not very good at finding files with their proper names. It is understandable that via Format Recovery and RAW Recovery you can’t find file names because they do deep scans past the file table but I noticed that many files via Deleted Recovery don’t have their proper file names, which is very unfortunate
  • Does not show recoverability of files
  • Program has spelling errors which doesn’t have a direct relation to the performance of the program itself but does raise a question about the quality of the developer


2013-07-17_110108As stated above, Tenorshare Data Recovery is a file/data recovery program that also has the ability to recover lost partitions.

Using the program is easy; you select which of the four modes you want to run — ‘Deleted Recovery’, ‘Format Recovery’, ‘Partition Recovery’, and ‘RAW Recovery’ — let the program run its scan, select which files you want to restore, select where you want to restore the files to, and restore. Prior to restore, you can preview files if they are photo and audio files and when restoring files you can restore files in batch.

Depending on which type of mode you use will control the time it takes for Tenorshare Data Recovery to run its scan. Deleted Recovery is the quickest because it does not look under your file table; in other words, Deleted Recovery only finds files that have been deleted during your current Windows installation. Format Recovery and RAW Recovery are next in terms of speed because they do deeper scans than Deleted Recovery and thus typically find more files. Partition Recovery is somewhere in between.

In terms of performance, RAM usage is not very high at all hovering around 15-25 MB during my tests. At the same time, Tenorshare Data Recovery used up my whole 1 core CPU during my tests… which is a good thing, because it speeds up the recovery process. Now, of course, the million dollar question is: how well does Tenorshare Data Recovery recover files?

As per my tests, Tenorshare Data Recovery ranks average in terms of being able to recover files. It was able to find one of my test files but not the other and it found a lot of other files (read: thousands when using RAW Recovery)… but, I have seen better recoverability in other programs, such as with TestDisk & PhotoRec.

That being said, I want to point out one major drawback in Tenorshare Data Recovery: the fact that Standard, Professional, and Enterprise cannot create bootable/recovery CD/DVD/USB to run data recovery from outside Windows. It is a well known fact in the data/file recovery circle that data recovery is best done from outside the operating system because not only does that give best results but also because using a system from which you want to recover files from lowers the chances of you recovering the necessary files (due to overwrite on hard drive sector).

On top of that, having a data recovery program that only runs from inside Windows makes the program semi-useless in the situation that your computer crashes and you cannot boot into Windows. In this situation, for you to use a data recovery program that only runs from inside Windows, you would need to reinstall Windows, install the data recovery program, then try to recover files — which will decrease the chances of you recovering files due to having to reinstall Windows.

Since only Tenorshare Data Recovery WinPE version can run from outside Windows, the other versions are, in my book, semi-useless.


Conclusion and download link

There is one word to describe how I feel about Tenorshare Data Recovery: medicore, especially the Standard version. You are more than welcome to check out this program if you desire, but I don’t recommend it. Rather, I recommend you check out dotTech’s review on best free data and file recovery software for Windows to learn of free file and data recovery programs that work extremely well — many of which have bootable/recovery CD/DVD/USBs.

Price: $29.95 (Standard), $39.95 (Professional, WinPE), $49.95 (Enterprise)

Version reviewed: 3.1 Build 9100

Supported OS: Windows (XP, Vista, Seven, Eight)

Download size: 3.5 MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 1/47

Is it portable? No

Tenorshare Data Recovery homepage

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  • TinaLin0

    Yeah, as one of the useful data recovery tools, this software was really workable in rescuing lost or deleted data back. In fact, last time, when my drive was formatted somehow, other free data recovery software was also helpful and rescued most of my desired original drive information back from here: http://www.icare-recovery.com/disk-drive-recovery/external-disk-hdd-data-recovery.html
    Thank you very much!

  • Matthew Mills

    There are better and cheaper options available in the market. Plus Tenorshare do not honour their supposed 90-day money-back guarantee if anything goes wrong.

  • Yeah, Tenorshare data recovery is the most useful tool on the market. I also found this program on http://www.any-data-recovery.com

  • julia lloyds

    [@Greatgates Liu] Few months back even I suffered loss of messages and contacts from my iPhone 4S when I used the factory setting option but thanks to iOS data recovery. It helped me a lot it is specially designed secially for helping iOS users to get back their deleted or lost Contacts, Photos, Messages, Voice Memos, Messages Attachments, Photo Stream, Call History, Calendar, Camera Roll, Notes, Reminders, Photo Library, Safari Bookmark. Both Windows and Mac versions are now available.

  • Greatgates Liu

    You may also try this data recovery: http://www.smart-iphone-recovery.com/data-recovery/

  • Kensena1

    I find a tool, maybe help. http://www.iphone-recovery-transfer.com

  • Jenter2
  • Thomas

    New version, V3.4, of Lazesoft’s data recovery freeware, Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Edition, is released. http://www.lazesoft.com/blog/2013/07/31/release-of-lazesoft-recovery-suite-v3-4/

  • Chris

    In reply to your “why would you run in Windows” I would have a pc used with the software installed, then attach the damaged drive separately. Obviously I’m lucky to have another pc to use, which not everyone has the luxury of, but I would never install anything on the damaged drive for the reasons you stated.

  • alan

    I have just tested PURAN FILE RECOVERY and found it useless.

    IRRITATION :- I selected “All Files” and did NOT need Deep Scan because they had never been deleted, but Puran insisted on default Deep Scan because the 600 GB WDC HDD was GPT style until Windows lost its drive letter and insisted it was MBR style.

    USELESS :- After the scan it only found files with extensions it knew.
    It was ignorant of Macrium Reflect backups type *.MRIMG
    I tried to add *.MRIMG to its ability but it insisted that I had to specify a Start Byte and/or End Byte – neither of which I know and neither of which are needed because the files were not deleted and Deep Scan was irrelevant.

    Both Minitool Power Data Recovery and also
    Lazesoft Data Recovery v3.3 ( free and no limit on the amount recovered )
    have recovered all my *.MRIMG files without me first defining the extensions I wanted.
    Minitool recovered the exactly correct size for each and every file,
    BUT hash checksum validation failed on the more recent 6 GB files which had been created when free space was badly fragmented
    I estimate the originally created 6 GB file was scattered across the HDD in 200 fragments.
    All the Lazesoft recovery was perfect and passed hash validation,
    because every fragment was put together in the original sequence.

    I think Lazesoft is well worth your time to evaluate.
    The main problem is that recovered files get today’s time stamps,
    but I have a Beta version of v3.4 which fixes this and I hope will be released next month. v3.3 at top of
    It now downloads via CNET, but I have just downloaded and installed and there were none of the CNET extras to be declined – I am amazed.

  • Ernie Bell

    spelling correction…my apologies to GIOVANNI.

  • Ernie Bell

    I echo Giavonni’s “Glad to See You Again at GAOTD” . Your input there introduced me to dottech.com and it has become a regular place for me to check out software and get info on software and computers in general. Plus check out the terrific photos you and others post. Thanks for the energy and time you put into your electronic passion. EFB

  • Giovanni

    Hi Ashraf!
    Nice to see you again…how are you man? Why the hell do you often vanish and the reapper in the GAOTD forum? Your inputs are always precious to me…
    Anyway, as best FREE alternative I recommend PURAN FILE RECOVERY, since after some tests I carried out recently it turned out to be the only FREEWARE out there capable of recovering almost any files previously stored in an USB drive of mine suddenly becoming RAW due to a technical hardware failure. And unlike this GAOTD, it’s even able to show you the recoverability of files.
    Neither TESTDISK nor RECUVA were able to restore or find anything…

    Bye for now.